Karatsu is a port city in Saga Prefecture (southwestern Kyushu Island, Japan), with a total area approx 487 km2 (188 mi2) and a population of around 80,000 (metro around 122,000). Traditionally for Japan, into the current city are merged several neighbouring towns and numerous villages.
Karatsu was originally established (16th century) and continues to be an important seaport serving Japan's trade with China and Korea. Among the most popular tourist attractions are Karatsu Castle (17th-century stone-made castle on a hill rising directly out of the sea / using it as a natural moat) and the annual Karatsu Kunchi festival (November 2-4, visited by over 0,5 million Japanese).
The city is railway linked via Karatsu Line (Kubota to Nishi-Karatsu) and Chikuhi Line (Fukuoka to Karatsu, and Karatsu to Imari). Chikuhi Line is also interlinked with the Kuko Line (part of Fukuoka City's subway system). All train services are provided by JR Kyushu (Kyushu Railway Company) - one of the seven companies managed by the government-owned JR Group (Japan Railways Group).
The closest International airports are Saga Airport (in Kawasoe) and Fukuoka Airport (in Fukuoka). Main road connections are via Nishi-Kyushu Expressway and the highways 202, 203, 204, 323, and 382.